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'Fiscal Devaluation' and Fiscal Consolidation: The VAT in Troubled Times

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  • Ruud de Mooij
  • Michael Keen

Abstract

This paper focuses on two core tax design issues that arise in addressing current fiscal challenges It first explores the idea, prominent in troubled Eurozone countries, of a ‘fiscal devaluation:’ shifting from social contributions to the VAT as a way to mimic a nominal devaluation. Empirical evidence is presented which suggests that in Eurozone countries this may indeed improve the trade balance quite sizably in the short-run, though, as theory predicts, the effects eventually disappear. The paper then assesses the wider scope for VAT reform in meeting fiscal consolidation needs, developing and beginning to apply a methodology for finding additional VAT revenue in ways less distortionary and fairer than further raising the standard rate.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17913.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Publication status: published as "Fiscal Devaluation" and Fiscal Consolidation: The VAT in Troubled Times , Ruud de Mooij, Michael Keen. in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis , Alesina and Giavazzi. 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17913

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  1. Menzie D. Chinn & Eswar S. Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 7581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Oleg Itskhoki & Gita Gopinath & Emmanuel Farhi, 2011. "Fiscal Devaluations," 2011 Meeting Papers 406, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Alexandre Mathis, 2004. "VAT indicators," Taxation Papers 2, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission, revised Apr 2004.
  5. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2010. "The value added tax: Its causes and consequences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 138-151, July.
  6. Jens Arnold, 2008. "Do Tax Structures Affect Aggregate Economic Growth?: Empirical Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 643, OECD Publishing.
  7. Calmfors, L., 1998. "Macroeconomic Policy, Wage Setting and Employment -What Differences Does the EMU Make?," Papers 657, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Brett, Craig & Keen, Michael, 2000. "Political uncertainty and the earmarking of environmental taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 315-340, March.
  9. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  10. Jaewoo Lee & Jonathan David Ostry & Alessandro Prati & Luca Antonio Ricci & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "Exchange Rate Assessments," IMF Occasional Papers 261, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2006. "Is the VAT a Money Machine?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 905-28, December.
  12. Calmfors, Lars, 1998. "Macroeconomic Policy, Wage Setting and Employment - What Difference Does the EMU Make?," Seminar Papers 657, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. Stephan Danninger & Alina Carare, 2008. "Inflation Smoothing and the Modest Effect of VAT in Germany," IMF Working Papers 08/175, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Lane, Philip R. & Perotti, Roberto, 1998. "The trade balance and fiscal policy in the OECD," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 887-895, May.
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  16. Auerbach, Alan J., 2006. "The Choice between Income and Consumption Taxes: A Primer," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt9q85f6qz, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  17. Calmfors, Lars, 1998. "Macroeconomic Policy, Wage Setting, and Employment--What Difference Does the EMU Make?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 125-51, Autumn.
  18. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. John C. Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," NBER Working Papers 16300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Stephen C. Smith & Michael Keen, 2007. "VAT Fraud and Evasion," IMF Working Papers 07/31, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Kent Matthews, 2003. "VAT Evasion and VAT Avoidance: Is there a European Laffer curve for VAT?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 105-114.
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Cited by:
  1. Pestel, Nico & Sommer, Eric, 2013. "Shifting Taxes from Labor to Consumption: Efficient, but Regressive?," IZA Discussion Papers 7804, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Barbara Annicchiarico & Fabio Di Dio & Francesco Felici, 2014. "Fiscal devaluation scenarios: a quantitative assessment for the Italian economy," Working Papers 1, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
  3. Bergljot Barkbu & Jesmin Rahman & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 2012. "Fostering Growth in Europe Now," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 12/07, International Monetary Fund.
  4. A team of the Working Group on Econometric Modelling of the European System of Central Banks, 2012. "Competitiveness and external imbalances within the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 139, European Central Bank.
  5. von Thadden, Leopold & Lipinska, Anna, 2013. "On the (In)effectiveness of Fiscal Devaluations in a Monetary Union," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80038, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Lukas Vogel & Werner Roeger & Bernhard Herz, 2012. "The performance of simple fiscal policy rules in monetary union," European Economy - Economic Papers 470, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. Stavros A. Zenios, 2013. "The Cyprus Debt: Perfect Crisis and a Way Forward," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 7(1), pages 3-45, June.
  8. Laura Jaramillo & Carlo Cottarelli, 2012. "Walking Hand in Hand," IMF Working Papers 12/137, International Monetary Fund.

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